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The Half-Drowned King: A Novel by Linnea…

The Half-Drowned King: A Novel (edition 2017)

by Linnea Hartsuyker (Author)

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205985,009 (3.63)16
Title:The Half-Drowned King: A Novel
Authors:Linnea Hartsuyker (Author)
Info:Harper (2017), Edition: First Edition, 448 pages
Collections:Read in 2016

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The Half-Drowned King by Linnea Hartsuyker



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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
life is too short to finish books you aren't loving
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
I picked up this book because I love historic fiction and I was trying to find a book to get me into the mood for a trip to Iceland. And although none of the characters actually ever set foot on Iceland, the descriptions of life as a Norse Viking was an entertaining introduction into some of the Icelandic culture. The book is set in a Norway that is still governed by a fierce group of Viking kings. It appears like a lawless society, with plenty of raids on innocent farmers and Irish priests, but there was a strong code of honor and even a rule of law that the most ferocious Viking upheld. The story is a classic one of a power struggle to rule Norway, with plenty of alliances forged and broken, and of course, lots of treachery. Think of it like a Game of Thrones but with Vikings. Good plot and a fun romp through a very colorful time and place. ( )
  jmoncton | Mar 25, 2018 |
Early history of Norwegian life, at the time of small kingdoms, and little unification. I learned a lot of background and history, told from the viewpoint of Ragnvald-the brother-trying to reclaim his land, while protecting his sister--Svanhold. Lots of wars and sea battles described, which got somewhat tedious, but realistically was a major part of the Nordic history. First part of a trilogy, and I'm looking forward to the subsequent books. ( )
  Pmaurer | Dec 17, 2017 |
The Half-Drowned King is one of the books I recently enjoyed for bedtime relaxation while reading more challenging books by day. It’s the first of what will apparently be a trilogy: a saga of 9th century Norwegian kings during the period of unification. According to the author’s note at the end of the book, it was ‘inspired by’ the saga of Harald Fairhair in the Heimskingla of the Icelandic historian and poet, Snorri Sturluson (1178/79–1241). Sturluson’s saga was written from oral sources ca. 1230 and isn’t considered entirely reliable about centuries much earlier, so an author has plenty of scope for invention…
The novel is a big. chunky book of 400+ pages, focussing mainly on two protagonists: Ragnvald Eysteinsson, the betrayed true heir to his family’s lands, and his sister Svanhild, a spirited individual not willing to submit to the role that custom demands of women. When the story opens, Ragnvald is returning from successful raids on the coastline but is almost drowned (hence the book title) by Solvi, who has been put up to it by his father King Hunthof who’s in league with Ragnvald’s stepfather Olaf. So Ragnvald starts the novel as a penniless victim who needs to keep out of the way of rivals who would kill him, and Svanhild is about to be married off to a boring old man whose previous wives have all died in childbirth.

To read the rest of my review please visit https://anzlitlovers.com/2017/11/05/the-half-drowned-king-by-linnea-hartsuyker/ ( )
  anzlitlovers | Nov 5, 2017 |
Novel of 9th century Vikings--what was unusual was showing their life on shore, mostly as farmers, and emphasizing women's lives. The protagonist, Ragnvald, is thrown overboard and is rescued by a fisherman. He has a vision of a "golden wolf" which he later feels is King Harald, who wants to unite and rule all of Norway. Ragnvald wants to kill his stepfather, who has stolen his patrimony. His sister, Svanhild, to escape an unwanted marriage to a much older man, runs away and goes to sea with her husband, archrival of her brother. Novel was interesting, showing another side of Vikings, but nothing special. This was the first in a projected trilogy, using one of the old sagas as a starting point. ( )
  janerawoof | Oct 4, 2017 |
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Ragnvald danced on the oars, leaping from one to the next as the crew rowed.
Anger is a pilot who always steers his ship onto rocks. It is a poor guide. (p. 172)
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Haiku summary
Ragnvald helps Harald
to unite all of Norway
amid warring kings.

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"The first installment in a debut trilogy, THE HALF-DROWNED KING tells the compelling story of the political intrigues, battles, and struggles for power that led to the rise of King Harald the Fair-Haired, first king of Norway, seen through the eyes of the young man who became his most trusted warrior and advisor. Conjuring a bloodthirsty, superstitious, and thrilling ancient world (9th century), this debut novel is for fans of Game of Thrones, the Vikings TV series, and Outlander"--… (more)

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